Visit The Gambia This Winter: 10 Reasons Why You Should

Visit The Gambia This Winter: 10 Reasons Why You Should

The Gambia is a destination that should not be missed, with its variety of attractions ranging from golden beaches to charming fishing villages. The friendly and hospitable nature of the Gambian people only adds to the allure of this hidden gem, making it a must-visit destination for any travel enthusiast. Furthermore, with direct flights from Gatwick through tour operator The Gambia Experience, accessibility to this African treasure has never been easier.

Beautiful Beaches

Gambia may only have 80km of coastline and be surrounded by Senegal, but it still offers breathtaking golden beaches fringed with swaying palm trees and dotted with picturesque lagoons. The year-round temperatures range between 29°C and 34°C, making it perfect for a refreshing swim. However, it’s important to be aware of the strong currents and high waves.

If you prefer lively beaches, then Senegambia, Kololi, or Paradise Beach are the places to be. Here, you can participate in drumming sessions with the locals, take boxing lessons, and even ride horses. If you’re looking for tranquility and solitude, then Nginki-Nganka or Fajara are the perfect spots to unwind on a sunbed while savoring a cocktail.


The Gambia offers several vibrant street markets where you can find an array of items ranging from food to clothing. The biggest market, Albert Market, is situated in the heart of Banjul and fills the city with its vibrant colors and enticing aromas. Other popular markets include Serekunda and Brikama. Navigating a market in The Gambia can be an overwhelming experience, with locals eager to sell you their wares at every turn. To make the most of your visit, it’s recommended to hire a local guide who can help you navigate the maze and find the best deals.


The wildlife in The Gambia is a major attraction, particularly for bird enthusiasts as there are nearly 600 bird species, as well as other animals such as bush pigs, crocodiles, hippos and monkeys, some of which can be spotted on the beach. The Abuko Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination for those interested in animals, home to hundreds of species and one of the best bird-watching sites in the region. The Kachikally Crocodile Pool, located in Bakau, is another popular spot where visitors can touch one of its 100 crocodiles or even take a dip in their pond for good luck. For those who love primates, the Senegambia Monkey Park offers the opportunity to see various species of trees and plants, as well as play with green monkeys and the endangered western red colobus monkey.

  1. Gambian cuisine offers simple yet delicious flavors. The traditional dishes include Benachin, Domoda, Superkanja, and Yassa, which are variations of rice stews served with fish, meat, or chicken. Boss Lady in Kotu is a recommended restaurant, but there are also international fine dining establishments like Clay Over for Indian, Al Rawshe for Lebanese, and Luigi’s for Italian.
  2. The Gambia has stunning hotels that cater to family holidays, business trips, and romantic getaways. Most hotels face the beach and boast beautiful gardens and swimming pools. Ngala Lodge, a former colonial mansion, is a great option for a peaceful break. This adult-only boutique hotel features hand-crafted suites, tropical gardens, and a stunning cliff-top infinity pool with breathtaking views of the sea. The Gambia Experience offers seven-night holidays at this hotel starting at £599 per person in September, a saving of £383 per person from the brochure price.
  3. The nightlife in The Gambia never really sleeps except during Ramadan. Along the strip of Senegambia, several bars and clubs play pop, hip hop, salsa, and ndaga music until the early morning. Beach parties also offer African and Caribbean reggae and Dancehall music where tourists can mingle with the locals. Many hotels have visiting dance troupes and musicians to entertain guests in the evenings.
  4. Gambian people are known for their hospitality and friendly nature. They are always willing to share their culture with tourists and offer lunch or dinner at their homes after a few minutes of conversation. Tourists who visit a Gambian “compound” get a remarkable insight into the local way of life. Children are also curious about tourists and will want to hug them and ask for sweets.
  5. The river is a major tourist attraction in The Gambia, and the country exists as a small strip of land area to either side of it. The fishing village of Tanji is a must-see place, with colorful fishing boats bobbing in the waves as local women carry the day’s catch to shore in buckets atop their heads. Traveling from Banjul to Barra by ferry is also interesting, where hundreds of people, cars, and animals rush in and out of the ferry.
  6. Volunteering in a local school is an alternative way to spend a few days in The Gambia. Many schools around the country take in volunteers to play with the children or teach them how to speak English. The Geedema Sweet Water Project in Brikama is a charity that provides accommodation for volunteers and helped open a school last year to teach underprivileged children whose families cannot afford their education.

Visiting The Gambia is now easier and cheaper than ever before with direct flights from Gatwick to Banjul operated by Titan Airways and Small Planet Airlines. The flights run twice a week in winter and once a week during summer, with a flight time of approximately six hours.